American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of numerous beetles, of the superfamily Curculionoidea, especially the snout beetle, that characteristically have a downward-curving snout and are destructive to nuts, fruits, stems, and roots.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A snout-beetle; any coleopterous insect of the section Rhynchophora (which see). The term is more properly restricted to the long-snouted forms of the family Curculionidæ, but is also extended (beyond the Rhynchophora) to the family Bruchidæ. The weevils are almost exclusively plant-feeders; most of them live in nuts, grains, the Stems of plants, rolled-up leaves, catkins, or fruit, while others are leaf-miners, and a few live in gall-like excrescences on the stems or roots of plants. Brachytarsus contains the only carnivorous forms, and these are said to live on bark-lice. Some forms are sub-aquatic, as the water-weevil, Lissorhoptrus simplex. See phrases following, and cuts under Anthonomus, Balaninus, bean-weevil, Bruchus, Calandra, clover-weevil, Conotrachelus, diamond-beetle, Epicærus, pea-weevil, Pissodes, plum-gouger, Rhynchophora, and seed-weevil.
- n. Any insect which damages stored grain, as the fly-weevil, a local name in the southern United States for the grain-moth, Gelechia cerealella. See grain-moth, 2.
- n. The larva of the wheat-midge, Diplosis tritici. Also called red weevil.
- n. Phytonomus punctatus, whose larvæ feed on the leaves of clover in Europe and the United States.
- n. Sitones crinitus and S. flavescens, which feed upon the leaves of clover in Europe, their larvæ boring in the roots. The latter has been introduced into the United States.
- n. Otiorhynchus sulcatus and O. picipes, which feed upon the leaves and shoots of the grape in Europe.
- n. Rhynchites betuleti, a formidable grape-pest in Europe, which rolls the leaves of the vine.
- n. Anthonomus musculus, the adult of which destroys the blossoms and flower-stalks of the strawberry in the eastern United States.
- n. Any of several small herbivorous beetles in the superfamily Curculionoidea. Many of them have a distinctive snout.
- n. Any of several small herbivorous beetles in the family Curculionidae belonging to the superfamily Curculionoidea.
- n. Any of several similar but more distantly related beetles such as the biscuit weevil.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) Any one of numerous species of snout beetles, or Rhynchophora, in which the head is elongated and usually curved downward. Many of the species are very injurious to cultivated plants. The larvæ of some of the species live in nuts, fruit, and grain by eating out the interior, as the plum weevil, or curculio, the nut weevils, and the grain weevil (see under plum, nut, and grain). The larvæ of other species bore under the bark and into the pith of trees and various other plants, as the pine weevils (see under pine). See also Pea weevil, Rice weevil, Seed weevil, under pea, rice, and seed.
- n. any of several families of mostly small beetles that feed on plants and plant products; especially snout beetles and seed beetles
- From Middle English wevel, from Old English wifel, from Proto-Germanic *wibilaz (cf. Dutch tortwevel ‘dung beetle’, Low German Scharnwevel ‘id.’, German Wiebel ‘beetle, chafer’), from Proto-Indo-European *webʰel (cf. Lithuanian vãbalas ‘beetle, weevil’, Russian dialect веблица (veblica, "intestinal worm")), from Proto-Indo-European *webʰ-, *h₁webʰ- (“to weave, wave”). More at weave and wave. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English wevel, from Old English wifel. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“For our seed peas in southern Ontario we have to go north, because the weevil is frightened at the word "north.”
“A beetle called a weevil is the creature which puts the fat worms there.”
“The following morning, Ranger Jay Snow toured us through the vast and strangely soothing Mesquite Flat Dunes where parts of the "Star Wars" movies were filmed, showing us a small bug called a weevil that leaves a delicate trail across the 100-foot-deep sands.”
“In my state, the weevil is the scourge of chestnuts; I had hoped that after the chestnut blight destroyed our native chestnuts, the Chinese and Japanese chestnuts would be free from that pest.”
“Kirby and Spence mention the small beetle Onthophilus sulcatus as being like the seed of an umbelliferous plant; and another small weevil, which is much persecuted by predatory beetles of the genus”
“Conservationists are calling the weevil infestation a national emergency and say there is, as of yet, no proven way of combating the insect.”
“By gold, quoth Panurge, 'tis a black mite or weevil which is born of a white bean, and sallies out at the hole which he makes gnawing it; the mite being turned into a kind of fly, sometimes walks and sometimes flies over hills and dales.”
“Fellows found the famous College ale not to their liking, they were scarcely satisfied when the butler told them that it had been brewed by the Master’s orders, from the Master’s malt, which was stored in the Master’s granary, and though damaged by “an insect called the weevil” had been paid for at the very high rates which the Master demanded.”
“weevil," and declared that his very last intention had been to be personal or to cast the least reflection on the lovable disposition of”
“By gold, quoth Panurge, ’tis a black mite or weevil which is born of a white bean, and sallies out at the hole which he makes gnawing it; the mite being turned into a kind of fly, sometimes walks and sometimes flies over hills and dales.”
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